Africa is a stirring land. A place where evocative names roll off the tongue like wild honey, evoking a spectrum of images ranging from rousing big game encounters to tender personal moment ... Zambezi, Kalahari, Etosha, Chobe, Shingwedzi, Umfolozi. The list goes on.
But there is surely no more evocative place on the entire continent like the Okavango Delta. Located in north-east Botswana, surrounded by the parched sands of the Kalahari, the Okavango is simply a sublime oasis of breathtaking beauty. Consisting of a myriad of waterways, secluded islands and floodplains, the Delta has it all. Teeming herds of big game, a hundred species of fish, critically endangered birds, and the most spectacular camps this side of paradise, the Delta seldom fails to seduce even the most seasoned of safari travellers.
But for a moment, spare a thought … the pristine future of the Okavango is under threat. As other wilderness areas around the world are compromised by the steam-roller effects of urban development, so to is the Okavango. What complicates the issue however, is that the waters of the Okavango system – the catchment, the main channels and the Delta itself – fall within the territories of three different countries, Angola, Namibia and Botswana. It’s a fragile, complicated and vulnerable wetland, and the politics of three different administrations make a single concentrated conservation program an almighty challenge.
The hope of the Okavango, to combine all forces, appears to hinge in proclaiming the system as a World Heritage Site. And many conservation forces are behind this proposal which would safeguard this region of incredible natural vitality. We at African Travel Gateway wholeheartedly lend our voice to this plea, to proclaim the Okavango as an area of national and worldwide heritage, one which needs to be protected, nurtured and valued for generations to come.